Wearable technology has the ability to facilitate pervasive, continuous understanding of and interaction with the human wearer through garment-integrated wearable sensors and interface technology. However, clothing is more flexible, mobile, and intimate than most electronic technologies, and presents unique challenges for design and manufacture. Start-up costs of developing garments for each application of wearable technology are high. The primary objective of this project is the investigation of a flexible, adaptable garment-integrated architecture for sensing and actuating technologies that will facilitate the development of a wide variety of applications without the need for new hardware development. In addition to flexibility of function, the integration of hardware components into garment structures emphasizes the methods of cut-and-sewn, mass-manufactured apparel. This focus lowers the barrier-to-entry to smart clothing and wearable technology for apparel manufacturers while simultaneously preserving the human factors of apparel including aesthetics and physical comfort.
Widespread, pervasive wearable technology would allow medical conditions to be continuously and imperceptibly monitored without requiring a clinical visit or hospital stay, and would allow personal devices to become context-aware, providing information and alerts that are responsive to the activities, objectives, and social context of the user. Smart clothing can shift the frontiers of healthcare and medical monitoring, human-device interface, apparel consumption and use, and many other fields. Innovation and expertise in the production of electronic textiles and clothing offers strong competitive advantage to the US apparel industry. Further, smart clothing development effectively bridges many interdisciplinary fields, including the predominantly-female field of clothing design. Activities supported by this project expand the participation of women in STEM disciplines and encourage interdisiplinarity in education.
Dunne, L. E., Simon, C., & Gioberto, G. (2015). E-Textiles in the Apparel Factory: Leveraging Cut-and-Sew Technology toward the Next Generation of Smart Garments. In W. Barfield (Ed.), Fundamentals of Wearable Computers and Augmented Reality, Second Edition (pp. 619-638). CRC Press.
Wearable Technology Lab
1985 Buford Circle
240 McNeal Hall (directions and maps)
1985 Buford Avenue